How to Show Hidden Characters in InDesign

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to show hidden characters in InDesign, so that you can see how the text is formatted. 

Selecting Text
With the Type tool enabled, there are a few ways to select your text. First, you can click and drag over the text to highlight a specific section. You can also double-click on a specific word to select it. 

Meanwhile, if you triple-click on a text line, the entire line will be selected. You can also change the triple-clicking function so that it selects an entire paragraph. To do this, choose "Edit" ("InDesign" on Mac) > "Preferences" > "Type". Then, disable the "Triple Click to Select a Line" option. 

If you have trouble selecting text with the Type tool, your text frame may be located on a locked layer. To fix this issue, go to the Layers panel and click on the lock icon for the relevant layer. 

What are Hidden Characters?
Also known as "non-printing" characters, these symbols offer a visual representation of spaces, indents, column breaks, and more. You can find a detailed guide to the various InDesign characters here. 

How to Show Hidden Characters
First, select "Type" > "Show Hidden Characters" from the main menu. InDesign show hidden characters in a light blue font. Even if you make them visible, the characters still won't appear when you print the project. 

If you choose "Show Hidden Characters" and they don't appear, you may need to disable Preview mode. Select "View" > "Screen Mode" > "Normal" to go back to a normal view, and then select "View" > "Overprint Preview" to make sure Preview is turned off.  

How to Add and Delete Breaks with Special Characters
Once InDesign's non-printing characters are visible, you can add new characters to implement column breaks, page breaks, and more. 

With the Type tool selected, click anywhere to set the insertion point for your break. Then, choose "Type" > "Insert Break Character". You should see a submenu with different break options, such as Column Break, Frame Break, Page Break, and Paragraph Return.

If you'd like to delete a particular character, just select it with the Type tool and press the Delete key. 
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